November 05, 2013

DIY: Embroidery Thread and Ribbon Spools

I have a crazy amount of craft supplies at my house. Every time I get a gift, I keep the ribbon, paper, cardboard, etc. You never know when these things are going to come in handy. Not only are you recycling by using these things again, ( Let's face it, lots of people just toss packaging in the garbage. How sad.) but you're also saving yourself quite a bit of money. Going out to craft stores or even gift shops for gift wrapping can be so expensive. I say live guilt-free and hoard crafty things to reuse for projects and presents!

That being said, finding places to store these things can get out of hand. I try to keep organized with labelled boxes and files. However, I find as a creative person, these things end up all over the place before I even know what's happening. I like having so much to work with, because it forces me to be inventive and resourceful, but if I come across any ways to help myself stay clutter-free, I am completely ready to try them out.

A week ago, I decided to work on my mess of a sewing box. I have a nice sized, wooden sewing box with tapered legs and fold-out storage. For any normal person it should be enough room. But oh, no. Not for me! My biggest problem is my embroidery thread. Due to lack of  space I threw a bunch in the bottom compartment. It was supposed to be a temporary spot, but months later, here they are still waiting to be untangled and sorted through. Oh dear.

My idea for streamlining this disaster? Handmade cardboard spools. You can buy these at any craft store and they usually come inside packages of embroidery thread as well. Some are plastic and some are paper. It seems silly to go out to buy more if you have the perfect solution in your own home though. Paper and cardboard is EVERYWHERE, so let's use it!
I made these simple spools by creating a paper template and tracing a bunch of thick cardstock paper. One side is white and the other is a baroque-style black and white pattern. I wanted the white side to be the front, so I could label them and write the colour name in a cute handwritten font. Another good idea is to write down the colour number if they have any. That way when you run out you know exactly  which ones you need to stock up on.

I used a pencil to roughly sketch in my font, which I free-handed based on the font, Swung Note. I like crafty looking things, so handwriting the font was something I knew I wanted to do to get a quirky, thrifty effect. I filled it in with a black ink pen and added details and doodles with Copic markers. Starbursts and diamond shapes were a must of course.

Just as a side note, I think putting the colour name on the top would also be a great idea if you have kids. For little ones learning basics like colours and spelling, this would be a nice way to secretly teach them while they play and do crafts. Lessons hidden in play time - always a good plan.
 I really like how these turned out. You can really put any type of thread or ribbon on these, and do any type of design or shape you want. I feel like the possibilities are endless here. I was even thinking of making some with animal faces on the top! Maybe I'll do those sometime soon. I could always use more spools!
What kinds of things do you do to keep your craft items organized?

See you again soon!

Marissa xo


  1. Fantastic! I have a bad habit of collecting paper doilies and wrapping paper. I really should re-organize my stash so I know what I have in "stock" The names spools are so so cute. I loved your Halloween custom as well:)

    1. Oh me too, with the wrapping paper. I have a bunch of retro christmas wrapping paper I'm dying to pull out and do something with this year. Thanks so much Daphne!